Every mom has a particular way that she plans a menu. It is either day by day planning, month by month planning, or just figure it out at 4:00 pm. Either way, if kids are involved some kind of plan for dinner has to be made.
I am more of a week to week planner, but some weeks are so crazy that I end up not having enough time to even cook the food that I have planned. Our dinner hour may be pushed back or up to accommodate activities. As a busy mom I have come to realize that there is no right way to plan a menu, just an overall view that might help to alleviate stress. If one thing in a stay-at-home mom’s day goes as planned, well, I think that is a good thing!
I try to keep planning as simple as possible because I learned along time ago that simplicity works well for me so that I don’t spend all of my time planning and no time doing the plan. I also realized that I needed to gleen what I could from the knowledge of others but tweek it to work for my family.
What Goes Into The Plan
Have your weekly budget in mind before you start your planning. Mine right now is $60.00. Take 10 min. (use a timer) pull some coupons to match what you need off of the internet and place them with your list.
Use CASH only. If you don’t have enough then hand it back over at the cash register. Trust me when I say this from experience….you will learn to stay in your limit, after the cashier has glared at you a time or two.
Look through your cabinets. I have found many a usuable treasure that I forgot about in my cabinets!
Look in your refrigerator and see what condiments need to be used up because they are about to expire.
For example, I had barbecue sauce that I paid $5.00 for last summer when we had a barbecue and it was leftover. Since I needed the room in my fridge I wrote down BBQ chicken. Added some veggies and beans. Voila! All done with that meal.
Next look in your freezer and deep freezer. Use up your oldest items first. I found 3 bags of rice that I was able to use for 3 months.
Decide what kind of vegetable you will add to your meal. Will they be canned, frozen or fresh? If they are canned food will they be from your garden or the store?
These are questions that need to be decided during meal planning because you don’t want to spend money in the frozen aisle if you can get a good deal on canned vegetables this week. Also, if you have a garden and can your own vegetables then you would not need to purchase any vegetables until that supply ran out.
Step 5: Plan your nights.
This step is very simple. Our Monday is extremely busy starting at 4:00 pm. We have one child that needs to be picked up from play practice, then we hurry home to eat, and then I take that child with me, drop him off at Scouts while I head to Bible study.
On this night, I plan tomato soup and grilled cheese. We use paper plates, napkins and cups. This helps my husband who is at home with the three small children. He is able to clean up the kitchen in a breeze without alot of dishes.
Even if you are a flexible person who wishes to figure out dinner at 4:00 pm this method can work. Not all people are planners, as a matter of fact I am a planner in training. But making life as simple as possible should be each mom’s goal. The less stress the happier the family!